'It cost me so much money' – solo mum outraged after being told cafe trial was unpaid, after full day's work

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1 NEWS

A Wellington woman who says she is fighting for a fair day's pay has lawyered up in a bid to hold a cafe to account.

Helen Mawhinney worked an eight hour shift at a Wellington cafe, but was later told the trial was unpaid.
Source: 1 NEWS

Helen Mawhinney worked a full eight hour shift, only to be told it was a trial and she wouldn't be paid.

Ms Mawhinney says Wadestown Kitchen originally gave her an hour's unpaid trial last Thursday, with them telling her to come back the next day for a full eight-hour shift.

After the full-shift Ms Mawhinney says she was offered the job but when she asked about payment for her day's work on Friday the owners told her that was part of her trial.

"He said that we told you it was an unpaid job," she said. 

"They did no such thing because I wouldn't have agreed to that, there's no way, it cost me so much money," Ms Mawhinney told 1 NEWS.

She said it cost her $70 for a baby-sitter plus bus fare to and from the cafe for the day, leaving her seriously out of pocket.

An employment lawyer told 1 NEWS that an hour long trial is standard, but working another full day on top of that for free isn't.

After going online to vent about her experience, Ms Mawhinney found out that other's say they've have had the same thing happen to them when working for the cafe.

The owners of Wadestown Cafe refused to comment on camera, but told 1 NEWS the allegations are all lies and they treat staff fairly.

The Labour Department confirmed they have had complaints about the cafe before.

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